Why on Earth Are People Texting Their Ex in Social Media Challenges?

Lately, there has been another wave of “text your ex” challenges on social media (some are pranks while others seem open to reconciliation). Tik Tok and YouTube are full of people who have decided to reach out to an ex and text them random song lyrics.

Could the current health crisis be the reason or are people just looking for a cruel way to entertain their social media followers? Showbiz Cheat Sheet spoke with relationship expert Jaime Bronstein to get her take on this unusual challenge.

Showbiz Cheat Sheet: Could you briefly explain what the text-your-ex challenge is all about?

YouTube | Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
YouTube | Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Jaime Bronstein: People are texting their ex lyrics to songs. For example: “Hello” by Adele. People are getting a kick out of how their exes are responding. Some exes are texting that they miss them as well and others are texting back messages of confusion and disbelief. Then the user posts the responses to get more views and interactions on their page.

CS: In your opinion, why are people texting their ex? Is it because they’re afraid to be alone during a pandemic?

JB: One reason people are texting their ex is because they have so much more time now to think about them and the failed relationship. If someone isn’t over their ex, they might ruminate over what they could’ve done differently or how they wish it could’ve worked out, so they reach out to try to connect again.

In their pre-quarantine lives they were running around working, seeing friends, and staying busy. Now, with the extra downtime, they start dwelling on the past. They feel like they have nothing to lose, so they contact their ex regardless of whether or not the relationship was good. They just miss them, and they’re lonely.

Another reason people are contacting their exes is purely out of boredom. These people weren’t necessarily sad the relationship ended, and they don’t necessarily miss their ex. They’re bored and want to be entertained.  Contacting an ex who you’re not interested in anymore, but you know still loves you, can be an ego boost. It’s not the most sensitive move to make, but it happens.

CS: What are more effective ways to reach out to an ex?

JB: If you genuinely miss your ex, call or text and ask if there’s a time when you could talk on the phone. You could send an email from your heart and mention you’d like to catch up on the phone because you miss them, and you’d like to hear about what’s going on in their life.

CS: When is it a bad idea to contact an ex?

JB: It’s a bad idea to contact an ex if you were in an abusive relationship. It’s also a bad idea if you know this person doesn’t want to get back together–you’ll just end up getting hurt again. Another time it’s a bad idea is if you know you’re 100% over them and you don’t miss them, but you reach out anyway because you’re bored.

CS: How should you respond if an ex contacts you out of the blue and you don’t want to reconnect?

JB: If you don’t want to reconnect, just be honest that you have moved on, and you appreciate them reaching out, but you don’t see a point in communicating.

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